Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fun "Reading" for the Winter Months

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!  The seed catalogs are starting to arrive, but I've decided to begin my winter reading with the end result of edible gardening.

Santa was kind to me this year, getting me all the cookbooks off my wishlist: Jamie's Food Revolution, The Joy of Pickling, Nigella Kitchen and Vegetarian Planet.  I've spent some quality time with these books all curled up on the couch and marking which recipes I want to try first.

Jamie's Food Revolution is particularly awesome for the entire chapters on Indian curries and Asian stir-fries, in addition to amazing ideas for ground beef (ground beef Wellington anyone?!). The recipes are simple and rely on the freshness and quality of the ingredients so I think this cookbook will get more of a workout during the growing season.  However, there are some curries that can be adapted to winter vegetables that I'm looking forward to trying.

The Joy of Pickling just makes my mouth water as a lover of all things vinegary and salty.  Besides the usual suspects of cucumber pickles, pickled dilly beans and pickled okra, there are interesting surprises like pickled grapes (both sweet and sour recipes), pickles infused with Thai or Indian flavors and lots of chutneys.  I wish I would have bought this book in the summer so that I could be enjoying some of these pickles right now.  I've already got a long list of recipes to try out as soon as the produce becomes available from my garden or the farmer's market.

Nigella Kitchen, for me, is less about the vegetable recipes and more about the carnivorous ones...especially the quick meals. I'm planning to try out several of these as soon as I get some Korean chili paste.

And, finally, I've already posted a recipe from library-borrowed Vegetarian Planet, but now I have a copy of my very own.  Certainly, it will provide me lots of idea with what to do with produce in the spring and summer, but there are several recipes suitable for winter that I can't wait to try.

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